Today Only: Earn 6x Alaska or United Miles on Apple Purchases
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
It's a deal that comes around with enough regularity to be semi-dependable at this point: bonus miles on Apple purchases, as long as you're willing to wait.
Today, Wednesday, there are two airline portals participating:
- Alaska Mileage Plan (6 miles/$ spent)
- United MileagePlus (6 miles/$ spent)
As is usually the case, there's a long list of exclusions, per the United portal:
"The new Mac mini is not eligible until further notice. Additional products not eligible are: gift cards, gift wrap, Bose products, Apple Developer Programs, and shipping. Apple sells and ships products to end user customers only; you may not purchase for resale. Eligible only to a customer for up to five (5) units per eligible product, except iPhone, in which case only two (2) units within a thirty-day (30-day) period are eligible. EPP purchases are not eligible. Not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents."
If you've been planning to purchase an eligible product, the question isn't whether or not today's the day — it's which portal to pick. On the surface, Alaska's the better deal, since we value Mileage Plan miles at 1.8 cents each, compared with just 1.4 cents for United. Still, it really depends on which products you're looking to fly.
With Alaska, you can redeem for a variety of partners, including Cathay Pacific (one-way business class to Asia for 50,000 miles), Japan Airlines (70,000 miles for first class to Asia) and Qantas (first class to Australia or New Zealand for just 70,000 miles).
United's partner awards require far more miles in business and first class — as many as 140,000 each way — but travelers can squeeze out some extra value by working in a free leg with the Excursionist Perk.
Personally, I'd go with Alaska Mileage Plan — United miles are especially easy to earn, since you can transfer points instantly at a 1:1 ratio from Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means I'm essentially boosting my MileagePlus balance every day, as I earn 3x points on all travel and dining with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Regardless of which portal you choose, be sure to make your Apple purchase with a credit card that offers extended warranty benefits or purchase protections — you may be able to score extra coverage in case you damage your gear or need to return it.